Castrol extends Force Racing contract

New Contract Extends Force-Castrol Sponsorship Through 2010 POMONA, Calif. -- John Force announced Wednesday that he has signed a contract extension with BP Lubricants that will keep him in the cockpit of the Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang ...

New Contract Extends Force-Castrol Sponsorship Through 2010

POMONA, Calif. -- John Force announced Wednesday that he has signed a contract extension with BP Lubricants that will keep him in the cockpit of the Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang through the 2010 NHRA drag racing season.

The new contract also extends the Castrol SYNTEC brand's sponsorship of a second Ford Mustang driven by Eric Medlen and brings Force's 22-year-old daughter, Ashley, under the Castrol sponsorship umbrella in both the present and the future.

The Darien and Meadows A/Fuel Dragster Ms. Force drove to victory last season at Indianapolis, Ind., Dallas, Texas and Pomona, Calif., will be re-christened the Castrol Hot Wheels dragster to reflect Castrol's primary sponsorship of the team and the continuing involvement of Mattel, Inc., through its Hot Wheels franchise.

"The Force and Castrol names have become synonymous," Force said. "This season will be my 20th with Castrol sponsorship and by the end of the new contract, we'll have 25 years together. I'm proud of that and I'm also proud that the Force Racing and Castrol partnership will go on with my daughter even after I get out of the car. That means the most to me."

"We are pleased to be able to extend our relationship with drag racing's most successful team into the next decade," said Kim Kulick, Director of Marketing Services. "We are especially excited about our involvement with Ashley Force and look forward to working with her, Eric Medlen and other members of the Force team to market BP's Castrol-branded products to a new generation of do-it-yourselfers, especially women who today make many more of the choices relating to cars and trucks."

"This is a big investment for BP, but the company would not have taken such a bold step if it didn't expect big returns."

The Force-Castrol relationship has come a long way since 1986 when Castrol took a chance on a Funny Car driver who hadn't won an NHRA race in his first eight seasons on tour. Castrol's investment that first year was $5,000 cash -- plus oil. Financial terms of the new contract were not disclosed, "but it's a lot more than $5,000," Force quipped.

"Castrol has a great product. That's the first thing. The second thing is they're great partners. We've grown together over the last 19 years. I hadn't won any races when we started and they didn't have a big market share. Together we've won 114 races and Castrol has become the oil of choice of millions of race fans."

Although Force wasn't the first to win a drag race in Castrol livery, nor even the first to win a championship, he took the brand to new heights in the 1990s, a decade in which he won nine of 10 championships.

In fact, since teaming up with Castrol, Force has won almost one third of all the races contested in the NHRA Series (114 of 374). In his 19-year association with the sponsor, he has failed to qualify just once. He entered the 2005 campaign having put a Castrol GTX Funny Car in the field at 346 consecutive NHRA races dating back to Oct. 31, 1987.

Including the 2003 championship won by Tony Pedregon in the Castrol SYNTEC Ford, Castrol-backed Funny Cars have won 12 consecutive series championships and 14 of the last 15. Force won the championship last season in a Castrol GTX Ford. Medlen was fifth in the Castrol SYNTEC Ford.

-jfr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Ashley Force , Eric Medlen